RFID Hell: Treating Children as ChattelPosted: November 18, 2012
By C. Arthur Reavis
In the last edition of the People’s Press, the Recalcitrant Gourmet, wrote an editorial about planting phrases and words in our electronic communications that would tip off Government computers set to monitors these (OUR) communications for terrorist threats (or at least that is what we are told). He or she advocated overloading these computers and systems in order to say collectively “F-You Big Brother! We will not tolerate such intrusions into our privacy.” I agree! It’s high time we killed Big Brother and took back our privacy and Government.
However, the current course that our corporate owned Government is taking is one that is heading towards an eradication of our 4th Amendment rights. Currently, we don’t even have an expectation of privacy OVER (or outside) our property; as per CALIFORNIA v. CIRAOLO, 476 U.S. 207 (1986) where it was determined by the Supreme Court (5-4) that we as citizens are subject to warrant-less searches from the air. And more recently, when the Government claims “terrorism” we citizens can be vaporized from above by military drones as long as the action was “debated” in the Executive Branch. Thanks Patriot Act! But why stop there? Now our children are being looked after in schools across the nation as though they were merely chattel.
Aided by the use of RFID chips and in some cases GPS devices schools are keeping very close tabs on our children. Thanks to budget cuts in education and policies that pay schools based on a child’s attendance – children are chattel from the State’s perspective!
Schools across the nation are now employing RFID chips in student ID’s, GPS devices in computers (some case requiring habitually truant kids keep GPS devices on their person) and CCTV. Why? Most states pay schools based on attendance. There are many companies that sell the gamut of these products. But, three of the largest RFID companies that market these “Tag & Track” devices to schools are: AIM Truancy Solutions, ID Card Group and DataCard.
The idea behind the RFID system is that the chips are put into student ID’s (students must wear them while on school grounds) and then “readers” (devices that read the chips and transmit data to PDA or other communication devices) are placed throughout the buildings and grounds. This data not only includes a student’s attendance, but can also include a student’s movement throughout the day and exact whereabouts of a student at any given moment.
In San Antonio, TX a student has refused to wear this year’s RFID laced ID-card and has opted to wear last year’s non “Tag & Track” ID card. The school has responded by barring the student who does not wish to be tracked from; participating in ALL after school activities, running for student government, voting (sound familiar?) for homecoming court, eating (with other students) in the cafeteria and going to the library. I guess they figure this person knows too much already!
Tracking students’ movements throughout the day is particularly worrisome because it accustoms the next generation to being monitored 24/7. Employers have also started this practice of tracking and more municipalities are using military style drones and CCTV to monitor its citizenry. (Does anyone remember the novel 1984 by George Orwell?) Of course, part of the sales pitch to students, parents and citizens is that all of this monitoring will help keep people safer. Safer? Really? Does anyone believe that BS?
I do not know if local schools are using the RFID systems…yet, but I do know many are already using CCTV. I would hope that students, with the backing of their parents, would refuse any further attempts at monitoring by local districts. This can be achieved by students refusing to wear such ID tags: Refuse damn it and stage sit-ins!
And parents for the love of all that is American: Refuse to allow YOUR children to participate any RFID or GPS tracking. We are supposed to be free: not treated like livestock!